Daniel Francis

Reading the National Narrative

August 2015

August 21, 2015

A marvelous footnote to my book Closing Time about the history of prohibition, published last year.

In 1922 the Parisian bookseller Sylvia Beach had just published James Joyce's scandalous novel Ulysses and was trying to get copies to customers in the United States, where it was banned. Ernest Hemingway, who had recently moved to Paris and befriended Beach, put her into contact with an adman in

August 19, 2015

Back from a holiday up the coast, I find that the neighbourhood has filled with signs.


Of course there are election signs as well but these warn of a different species of interloper, come down from the mountains to paw through our garbage. Hardly a day goes by that a bear doesn't blunder into someone's kitchen or take a dip in their wading pool. I have not seen one yet this season but at night the air is redolent of skunk which I've been told means that...